Friday, October 30, 2015

I've changed my mind about Glenn in The Walking Dead and I now think he's 100% alive

There will be spoilers in this post. Please go away if this bothers you.

So I think that AMC is borrowing a page from HBO's mega-popular series "Game of Thrones." Even though Game of Thrones still doesn't come back for almost half a year, photos have surfaced online from the upcoming season and Jon Snow is in a lot of them, dressed in Stark armor, and he's leading an army. Speculators from super bloggers known as "The Watchers on the Wall" speculate that he (of course) gets resurrected by Melisandre and subsequently isn't a part of the Night's Watch anymore because his oath stands fulfilled. But that doesn't mean that HBO can't pump up ratings by killing off a beloved character and leaving fans around the world to speculate on his fate.

Well the same thing happened with Glenn in The Walking Dead. Only in this case, it's a set photo released by AMC during the late summer when Glenn was photographed in a group with Jesus (a major character from the comic) who hasn't been introduced yet. Here's a copy of said photo below.
Jesus in the comic books is a badass, able to escape handcuffs, do karate moves, and wield all kinds of martial weapons. He's also a nice guy, and he approaches the people in Alexandria to form an alliance of sorts between the community they have and the one Jesus is originally from (which happens to be much bigger). Which pretty much sets up that Negan will be introduced in the season finale sometime next year. Negan is the most brutal of The Walking Dead villains to date, and he's actually the one that kills Glenn as an example to Rick (who opposes him). I "suspect" that AMC is probably going to adhere somewhat close to this although they might substitute Daryl for Glenn. If that's the case, then there will probably be riots in the streets.

Anyway, since this photo got brought to my attention, I thought I'd let all of you know that I've changed my mind on Glenn's fate. He's 100% alive and AMC is trolling all of us hard because it's the kind of thing that brings in the advertisers. And that's just the way it is.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is the secret brother that Iris just learned about on The Flash named Wally by chance? If that's true is the CW doing Crisis on the Infinite Earths?

Look...the CW has just been knocking it out of the park with "The Flash" and "Arrow" this fall, and last night's episode entitled "The Fury of Firestorm" was no different. The insertion of heroes and villains from Earth 2 is just the beginning of what I must assume is a steady build toward Crisis on the Infinite Earths. If they can pull off Crisis at some point in the future, I'm going to go bonkers because it's even more ambitious than The Avengers. However, it also means that Barry Allen dies (if they follow the plot in the comic book drawn by George Perez), allowing Wally West to become "The Flash" infused with all of the powers of the Speed Force.

Up until now, there hasn't been a "Wally" West. But I don't think it's much of a stretch to think that the CW wants to at least introduce him. I mean, Iris's last name was always "West" and so was Joe's (naturally). And last week, they introduced "Francine" who was Iris' deadbeat former addict mother come to Central City to get to know her kid again. This week we found out that Francine was in town because she has a terminal disease. But because Iris is an investigative reporter, she discovered a secret that Francine had kept from her and Joe: the existence of a brother that she's never met. Iris asked Francine, "Do I have a brother?" but the emotions were coming too fast and too strong for Francine to answer before Iris walked out. What I wanted to know was, "Is his name Wally?"

Wally West is going to be the third Flash (the first was Jay Garrick and the second was Barry Allen--please correct me if I'm wrong comic book nerds).

Random Thoughts:

1) I do like that it's Iris this time that is keeping "the secret" from Barry and Joe. It's a good "turn of the table."

2) It also seems like a very natural way to introduce someone (Wally) considering they've never talked about him at all. Usually shows are just sloppy and introduce someone as a "cousin" and just expect the audience to go along with it.

3) The C.G.I. for the huge man shark guy at the end was awesome.

4) The new Harrison Wells looks like he may be a good guy. That will be so weird because he looks just like the old Harrison Wells who is responsible for killing Barry's mom. How will Barry ever get past the way the guy looks to work with him on anything? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

AMC is trolling the whole world with Glenn's death on The Walking Dead.

AMC is trolling the whole world with Glenn's death. Sometimes, I feel like (to use Lady Gaga's words) that I'm in a "Bad Romance" with The Walking Dead. Week after week, it beats me up to the point that I need therapy. Yet I still come crawling back.

If you don't know, we're three episodes into the sixth season, and Glenn was in a pretty hopeless situation having fallen from atop a garbage bin into a herd of walkers. Our last shot of him were guts being pulled all red and glistening from what looks like his corpse. I say this last point with caution because Glenn fell from atop the garbage bin with Nicholas in his arms. Did Nicholas land on top of him? Is that Nicholas' body we're seeing being ripped apart? And if so, Will Glenn survive by being coated in zombie parts and blood and all things vile and be able to walk out of there?
Are those Glenn's innards? Or are they Nicholas'? Damn you AMC!
It honestly doesn't seem very likely that Glenn could be alive. At this point, I'm comfortable saying that 95% of me thinks he's dead. But I hate this "uncertainty." The showrunner didn't have to film this sequence with such ambiguity. None of the other deaths have been ambiguous at all. Glenn could have fallen from atop the garbage bin a few seconds after Nicholas fell. That would have dispelled any and all theories that Glenn could somehow survive. As it is, even The Talking Dead featured no interview with Steven Yeun, which is normally how the show likes to play major deaths. It also didn't list him in the official list of deaths and then it referred to Glenn's death as "the most shocking moment from tonight" rather than "Glenn's death."

Shame on you AMC. You did this on purpose. It's not going to make me stop watching the show, but to shamelessly troll the emotions of a HUGE audience that will want to make up reasons for a beloved character to be alive seems like a desperate cash grab. Sigh. I guess I'll have to just put up with it until they decide to definitively answer the question by showing Glenn's reanimated corpse. However, if AMC holds true to form (like they did with Beth), it will be half a season before we get any more clarity on what happened to Glenn.

What do you Walking Dead fans think? Is Glenn dead? Is it possible for him to somehow survive? Is AMC trolling all of us and laughing its ass off?

I just don't want to admit that this is how it ends. Not for Glenn. He deserved better. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Supergirl airs on CBS on Monday after Big Bang Theory and I hope it will be good.

The Supergirl pilot airs Monday on CBS directly after Big Bang Theory. I know the pilot leaked online about six months ago, but I never bothered tracking it down and watching it. Instead, I'm content to wait it out just a few more days and watch it live on CBS. I'm sure it'll be good. Why? Because I trust the showrunner, Greg Berlanti, who is the genius behind the CW's amazing comic book adaptations of Green Arrow and The Flash. Also, I gotta say that I love the idea of Supergirl. She's absolutely got the power to deal with heavy hitter supervillains, and it's going to be different than yet another Superman reboot (which has been done to death).

But there are a few nagging questions that I have. The first is obviously whether or not Supergirl will take place in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash. I think it would be awesome to have crossovers galore on television, but I'm not so sure how CBS would feel about doing that with the CW. Additionally, is Supergirl going to be unapologetically a girl? And if so, will that turn some people off when the character of Kara is in non-superhero mode? And I wonder if there will be any sexist trolls that come out complaining that the actress doesn't feature an "in your face" rack for men to stare at.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the latest tv spot, I'm including it below. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My mind keeps wanting to disbelieve that I'm actually seeing Han Solo and Leia on the screen again.

After the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer premiered during halftime of the Giants vs. the Eagles Monday night, my mind was pretty much ruminating on it all night. I did manage to score some tickets for me and some friends at the first IMAX showing. The Fandango website crashed multiple times, and I heard that the volume of ticket sales was 8 times that of the previous record holder, a.k.a. The Hunger Games. Early predictions are saying that this Star Wars movie is going to be the biggest movie the world has ever seen. Yes, it'll supposedly be the one that dethrones Titanic and Avatar. And I, like everyone else, is wondering how Luke Skywalker plays in all of this. I'm wondering (too) why Leia looks so sad in the screen grab below:
This is gonna be a long two months to have to wait. I gotta say though that my mind keeps wanting to disbelieve that I'm actually seeing Han Solo and Leia on the screen again. It's like Han Solo overload. This is the most "epic" play of a nostalgia card I have ever seen. Well done Disney.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The new Star Wars Force Awakens trailer airs on ESPN tonight during Monday Night Football.

The new Star Wars: Force Awakens trailer is going to air tonight during Monday Night Football on ESPN (if you didn't know, ESPN is owned by Disney). I guess I'll be enthusiastically watching :)
Thoughts on the poster? Is that a new kind of Death Star in the background? Where is Luke? This movie is gonna be the biggest movie ever.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thank the gods of television because Green Arrow a.k.a. Oliver Queen no longer has that awful wig in its flashbacks

We are now two episodes deep in the fourth season of Arrow, and I am pleased to report that in the latest flashbacks to "Lian Yu Oliver," the wig is now gone. Yes, I never liked the wig. Did you like the wig? It looked bad on Stephen Amell. It really really did.

It seemed like every season had a different wig too.
This was the Hong Kong wig. 
This was the Lian Yu "Island" wig.
Yay! The wig is dead! The wig is dead! Long live natural hair on Arrow's characters. And in case you didn't know, this message has been brought to you by all the things that are important in life.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I tore apart the New York Comic Con trailer for the Shannara Chronicles and this is what I found

There is a lot of weird in the new Shannara Chronicles trailer that premiered at New York Comic Con this last weekend. So I decided to get my hands dirty and see what I could spot by going frame by frame. Also, you can click to "embiggen" any of these frames to get a better picture of what's going on.
First off, fans of the books already know the "Planet of the Apes" reveal: that hey this is Earth only thousands of years after a devastating nuclear war! So MTV has obviously just accepted that and isn't very shy about using "iconic" scenery to remind you that it's earth. In the above cap, what looks like (to me) the Space Needle is leaning on some remains of some skyscrapers. How the Space Needle retained that much of its original look when the buildings around it crumbled is beyond me, but the shot looks good.
I have no clue who this guy is in the trailer. But the cauldron behind him looks like one of those you see on the terrace of the elven palace in a later shot, so I'm going to go with "this is the changeling" who is the demon that wreaks havoc in the elven palace because it can change form to whatever it wants to. The blood on the lips is kind of a dead giveaway that this person is evil.
I think this shot occurs relatively early in the series and is probably from the pilot. The whole "let's blindfold you and make you run a footrace" strikes me as one of those training things that monks always do to their students. "Use your other senses..." and what not, so I bet this is how "The Chosen" (a council of people who look after the sacred tree known as the Elcrys) get their jobs. How would you like to run a footrace to get your job? I think I'd fail.
This is obviously where the king of the elves (Eventine) shacks up. He's the Terry Brooks version of Elrond. As you can see, there are obvious Lord of the Rings influences. But why not? Elrond in The Lord of the Rings had a pretty nice crib.
This is one of the protagonists named Wil Ohmsford. He's a half elf and gets given some blue elfstones which allow him to hurl blue flame at everything and make it explode, wither, and die. If I remember correctly, the elfstones also function as a compass basically allowing Wil to know which direction he needs to go if he's lost but knows what he's looking for. So a compass that also burns shit down seems like a good legacy weapon to me.
This is Eretria. She's a gypsy but in the book they're called Rovers. Essentially she's the "sexytime" to Wil Ohmsford's "I want to sex you up" vibe, which basically functions to keep Elfstones from turning into the sausage hang that The Hobbit always had a problem with.
This is the sacred tree known as the Elcrys. It has the power to keep demons exiled in a dimension that invisible to mortals and elves alike. As long as it stays strong and proud, then the demons can't threaten the world. So the crux of the story is that the tree is dying and every leaf that falls is basically one demon that gets free of The Forbidding. Naturally, demons immediately resume destroying everything. The book "Elfstones" mainly deals with three demons: the Dagda Mor (the most powerful), the Reaper, and the Changeling. The Dagda Mor (who wields a staff that shoots different colored fire than blue) picks the Reaper because it's good at hunting down and killing things and picks the Changeling because it's good at disguising oneself by changing its outward appearance.
This is Allanon played by Manu Bennett fresh off of "Arrow" where he destroyed it as Slade Wilson. The worried look on his face is because (as a druid) he can sense the Elcrys dying. It's kind of the same look I get when I realize I've killed yet another houseplant by watering it too much.
This HAS to be Allanon's hand surrounded by blue flame. It's really the only thing he does in the books: shoot things with blue flame, and it all comes from his hands. To be fair, the blue flame in the book always came across as always useful (kinda like socks).
This screencap looks like the elven palace (seen above) burning and the whole forest torched by demons. It's obviously a dream (I think) and that's Amberle's head in the foreground. My guess is she's been given a vision of what will happen should the Elrys die. As last of the Chosen (all her fellows get butchered by a demon but I can't remember which one) it's up to her to save the world basically. So in a sense, she's the "Chosen One"...lulz.
I think this is a screen cap that shows the Dagda Mor there in the upper right. What gives him away is the staff he's holding, which I mentioned earlier shoots a different colored flame other than blue. Was it red? Red seems kind of demonic so yeah...I'm going with red. Anyway, he's the most powerful sorcerer among the millions of demons on the other side of the Forbidding Wall. It's my guess that this screen cap takes place while the Dagda Mor is still in the Forbidding because of all the yellow noxious mist. I guess the far side of the Forbidding is essentially a toxic waste dump of bad gas.
This looks like the Dagda Mor and the Changeling about to have a demonic kiss. Who knew demons could be so intimate?
I think this is our first shot of the Reaper. In the book, the Reaper is pretty much a traditional "Reaper" demon with a cloak that swirls in the wind and a cowl with an impenetrable blackness staring back at you. I always pictured the Dementors from Harry Potter as being very "Reaper-esque." I guess the makers of the Shannara chronicles want to distance themselves from HP and have gone to effects that invoke viscera and horror, kind of like Alien.
What in the world is this? I don't remember there ever being snow in the Elfstones of Shannara. My guess is that it's the tower that Mallenroh lives in because there are scenes of Wil and someone else trying to get out of a room that's obviously burning down in the trailer. That reminds me of the witch sisters (Mallenroh and Morag) that lived in a valley that surrounded a lone mountain. Somewhere in that mountain was a sacred place where Amberlee needed to take a seed from the Elcrys. In the book it was forested, but maybe they are going with snow and ice to differentiate it from the elven homeland. Mallenroh and Morag were very interesting characters. The CGI budget may have been too high for MTV to do justice to Mallenroh because she had an army of treants (essentially) that kept her valley safe from intruders. But honestly, the series looks like they spared no expense so I gotta say, I'm excited for January. Below is the full trailer as seen at New York Comic Con. I left a few screen grabs out because they seemed redundant to explain. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Doctor Who is at its best when an isolated group of people encounter something that's beyond their pay grade and the doctor swoops in to save them

In the third episode of Doctor Who airing just this weekend on BBC America entitled "Under the Lake," the Doctor comes face-to-face with ghosts. Now, I'm not an expert on Doctor Who, but from what I've gathered in the episodes that I have watched the Doctor does not believe in ghosts. Every time they've appeared before in the past, there has always been some explanation. "Aliens" is one of my "go to" answers, but essentially..."things that behave like ghosts" have always been explained away as being something else.

In "Under the Lake" it looks like we're getting genuine disembodied spirits, albeit, those that are being used by an alien life force to form some kind of a "soul transmitter." The signal gets stronger as people die because their souls are harvested for the alien broadcast. The sinister implications of such technology lead to at least one question: if a transmitter is designed to broadcast coordinates into outer space through using human souls, how can this (at all) be good for humanity? Naturally, the doctor is the one that comes up with the solution, but I have to wait until next week to see how the stunning cliffhanger resolves itself.

Yet, this brings me to a small point I want to make: I think Doctor Who is at its best when an isolated group of people encounter something weird and even horrifying and something that they cannot explain. Into this scenario the Doctor inexplicably appears and helps them suss out what's really going on and then provides solutions.

The history of Doctor Who is replete with examples of this kind of plotting: the weeping angels are one such example. There was also the artificial flesh episode that struck me as particularly memorable. Maybe its something similar to how George R.R. Martin sees the concept of evil: that being there really isn't "evil" per se. Rather we perceive "evil" because it goes against our self interest. In these Doctor Who episodes in which people encounter something horrifying, there is always some twist...some reason for the creatures to be doing what they're doing. It could be as simple as survival, but the reveal always has something to do with understanding that which previously was a mystery. And once the understanding happens, the monster ceases to be so scary.